Workforce Policy & Practice
Since its inception, the Heldrich Center has conducted extensive research on the employment of people with disabilities, including a Work Trends survey of employers. The survey revealed employers’ views on people with disabilities in the workplace, the accommodation of these workers, and policies needed to increase workplace accessibility for all workers and job seekers. According to the survey, employers perceived a workplace in which people with disabilities were woefully underrepresented despite the significant number of people with disabilities who can and want to work.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJLWD) maintains a Workforce Longitudinal Data System (WLDS). For over 10 years, NJLWD has contracted with the Heldrich Center to maintain the current WLDS. In 2012, NJLWD was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor under the Workforce Data Quality Initiative (federal WDQI) to support the expansion of the WLDS. To support NJLWD and State of New Jersey efforts, the Heldrich Center is currently working with NJLWD to obtain state administrative data files for WLDS and to manage the data in WLDS to support data analyses.
In 2014, the Heldrich Center conducted research that explored a range of issues related to skills training and education for older workers, including the challenges older workers face when deciding whether to enroll in education and training programs, and, if so, how to choose a program and pay for it. A project report and brief (both available below) examine the vast array of education and training options at postsecondary institutions, employers, and community-based organizations, and the resources available to help older workers make informed selections.
The project provides a framework for understanding labor market alignment efforts across postsecondary education, providing a common language and key insights for practitioners, policymakers, and researchers to develop better policies and practices. Further, this project assesses what is known based on current research and practice on LMA to provide guidance on moving from policy to action, as well as charting out priorities to future research to guide ongoing LMA efforts.
The Heldrich Center is examining the role of labor market outcomes data in students' decision making about majors and careers. Through survey experiments, the research examines the effects of how these data are presented and how these effects vary by student characteristics.